Without knowledge action is useless, and knowledge without action is futile.
Research is the core of KARAMAH’s work, and serves as the bridge between thought and action in the struggle for justice. KARAMAH’s authentic, yet innovative research in Islamic jurisprudence is the source of the knowledge base essential to the promotion of the rights of Muslim women, and human rights for all, in an Islamic context. However, an understanding of Islamic jurisprudence alone is not enough to build networks of Muslim women and men around the world who support this mission. In order to become agents of change, future leaders also need knowledge and skills that will allow them to navigate sensitive issues and cogently present their thoughts. For this reason, KARAMAH also produces, collects, and disseminates research on leadership and conflict resolution.
KARAMAH’s Jurist Network – a network of over 400 scholars from around the world who contribute scholarly works on a variety of topics to our scholarship database, is vital to the success of many of KARAMAH’s endeavors. With their guidance and scholarly contributions, KARAMAH communicates knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence, leadership, and conflict resolution to the public at large by way of our educational programming and Law and Leadership Summer Program (LLSP).
Marriage in Pakistan – Divorce in Maryland – A Sequel (2009)
“At the Karamah program a year ago, I gave a talk with the same title–“Marriage in Pakistan – Divorce in Maryland”- about the case – Aleem v. Aleem – just then handed down by Maryland’s highest court, the Maryland Court of Appeals. I hope to approach this same case with more information and new insights into the enforceability of Islamic marriage contracts in American courts, and so I have called the talk I am going to give today a “sequel” to my earlier talk.”
“Aleem v. Aleem is a recent case from Maryland’s highest court, the Maryland Court of Appeals. Husband and wife were married in Pakistan in a ceremony that complied with the Pakistan Muslim Family Laws Ordinance. After three days, the marriage was registered. At the time of the marriage the husband was twenty-nine and the wife was eighteen. Both were citizens of Pakistan and domiciled there, although the husband was studying at Oxford University until shortly before the marriage. After the marriage, the husband returned to Oxford and in a little while his wife joined him there. The couple spent four years at Oxford to allow the husband to complete his studies.
“While I did not know Nazish Noorani, the story of her death haunts me: an American Muslim stay-at-home mother of two gunned down in a suburban New Jersey neighborhood. After completing a Ramadan meal with family, Nazish was walking with her husband and pushing her three-year-old son in a stroller when her attacker allegedly shot her near the heart, killing her instantly.”
“In some Muslim societies, this question is still being asked, although in other Muslim countries, women have made great strides and contributions in the areas of law and the judiciary. It is now the twenty first century and it is time to settle this question once and for all and empower Muslim women worldwide to exercise their right to serve society as judges. According to Islamic Shari’ah, there is neither a prohibition nor obstacles to women serving as judges. Indeed, many reliable and competent jurists such as al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Ibn al-Qasim al-Maliki, Ibn Hazm, and al- Kassani argued convincingly that women have equal rights to those of men in the judiciary. “